Personalize by Painting Veneer, Laminate or IKEA Furniture

It is always exciting to take on new projects, even if I’ve never done that type of piece before, I always know I’m going to learn A LOT! When I took on a big bad laminate bookshelf, I had NO idea how difficult it was going to be, it’s just a little ol’ bookshelf right? NO! So I thought I’d write about my experience to save you the trouble. Painting veneer, laminate and IKEA furniture is actually pretty easy, there are just a few things to know and it’ll be a golden experience. I mean who doesn’t want to personalize your mass made furniture to make it your own? Well it’s easy stuff – first thing is first, make sure you have the right supplies.

Zinsser Primer

  • I use this Zinsser B.I.N. primer, it can be used under oil or latex paints and is exactly what you need to get the paint to adhere well to your piece. I would highly recommend this particular primer. It seems pretty watery, and dries super fast, but it seriously holds the paint.
  • Use a fairly fine sandpaper, I used 180 grit and then 220. You aren’t trying to take the color/finish off of the furniture but you do want to scuff it a tad to get the paint to adhere.
  • And finally, your choice of painting applicator (how will you apply the paint) I used a roller, and a spray gun.

How To Paint Laminate, Veneer or IKEA furniture with Happy Chapter

  1. As always, wipe down your piece of furniture and remove any hardware that you don’t want painted.
  2. Get to scuffing! Using your 180 grit sandpaper, scuff up the piece. Try to get most of the piece evenly sanded – this will help your primer adhere to the smooth surface and will prevent chipping in the future. The picture below shows how the sanding will create a little bit of dust on your piece, but you aren’t going to be removing any of the finish, we will be painting over all that.
  3. Sanded BookshelfAfter you’ve sanded the entire thing, wipe the piece down with a damp cloth to get rid of all that dust.
  4. Prime. Using the Zinsser B.I.N. primer, paint or roll on the primer. This stuff dries quickly, so work fast and try to make your strokes as even as possible. The more uneven, the more visible the primer will be through your first coat of paint. Which reminds me, this particular primer can be tinted! Yup, how awesome so if you are using a darker color, just have the hardware store tint your primer so you don’t have to worry about white showing through (although tinting is not necessary, it does make it easier).
  5. Once your primer is dry you can use your 220 grit sandpaper to sand down the entire piece. Note that you aren’t trying to remove any of the primer, you are just lightly sanding to give your piece that “smooth-to-the-touch-feel.” Get it nice and smooth and wipe off any dust that sanding has created.
  6. Whoo hoo! Now you can paint. Remember, you have choices here, you can spray your paint with a spray gun, use a nice brush (one that goes with the type of paint you are using) or you can use a roller. I prefer a spray guy. I use this one and I LOVE it!
  7. Do a few coats, allowing your paint to dry the recommended amount of time in between coats.

Here is the final bookshelf – I know it seems weird to just paint it white, but this particular piece matched my customer’s wall perfectly, so it looked like it was a built in, it turned out really nice.

Final Bookshelf

and smooth!

Smooth Shelf

I also used the exact same steps to personalize a dog bowl for some of our great friends. I love how their sweet dog Cin Cin now has a custom bowl that is like no other!

Cin Cin Bowl Before

Cin Bowl After2

Cin Bowl After

I’d love to see some pics from some of the furniture you’ve personalized with paint!!

A fancy french provincial desk

Oh my goodness, I was so happy to have found this gorgeous little sassy desk on craigslist,  I see french provincial pieces from time to time, but they are usually too expensive for my taste, so when I saw this pop up right in my range, I snagged it right away. The thing with these french provincial pieces are they truly can go into any room and just spruce it up. The desk was a little dull when I got it, but I decided to go simple on this piece and just let the lines speak for themselves. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and the original hardware sprayed with a dark silver and brushed lightly with Old White.

French Provincial Desk Before

French Provincial Before Drawers

French Provincial Desk After

French Provincial Desk Drawers After

French Provincial Desk redone by Happy Chapter

What do you think? This piece sold before I even listed it, but if I had it for a minute, it would have gone just beautifully in our guest room. Where would you place it?

 

 

Sprucing Up Old Drawer Pulls

Howdy! So I have to start this one saying, shame on me for not taking enough before pictures. It’s really hard to show you a transformation without the before’s, but I’ll do my best. I was really excited to work on this dresser, because I knew just what I wanted to do with it, but the most fun was creating a fresh fun look for the drawer pulls.

Dresser Upcycle - Before Picture

Here is what I started with…not so much, right?! (Sorry about the horrible photo, only one I took) This was just an old dresser I found at Goodwill, it had great bones and just needed to be cleaned up, so I did it! Take a gander at the drawer pulls, they really were in pretty good shape, they just needed some cleaning up and a little love so I decided to keep them instead of replacing them. I popped into my favorite place, Hobby Lobby and looked for a nice spray paint and some Rub n’ Buff. I decided on a Krylon color called Antique Bronze, I thought it would look gorgeous and offer just enough contrast from the Antique Gold Rub n’ Buff.

Krylon Antique Bronze Spray Paint and Rub n' Buff in Antique Gold

First I sprayed all of the pulls and waited about 25 minutes for them to dry. Once they dried, I applied the Rub n’ Buff. It was so easy to apply, you just take your pointer finger and put a little of the Rub n’ Buff cream on it and rub on the pulls where you want it. I love the way it makes the drawer pulls look new and refreshed, but antique at the same time. Does that make sense? Ha!

Spray Painted Drawer Pull Happy Chapter

Rub n Buff CreamThe Rub n’ Buff dries super quickly, so pretty much as soon as it’s on, it starts to dry and will be ready to handle in about 5 minutes.

Updated Drawer Pull Happy ChapterOnce all the fun was done with the drawer pulls, I finished up distressing and waxing the dresser. I had painted it using my Chalk Painting Process earlier with Annie Sloan’s French Linen.

Dresser After by Happy Chapter in Annie Sloan French Linen

An Updated Drawer Pull - Happy Chapter

An Updated Dresser - Happy Chapter

I think the color of the dresser goes just wonderfully with the drawer pulls and I always love using the original hardware. Don’t you just love that Rub n’ Buff?

 

 

 

 

A Glossy Painted Desk

OK OK, I’m on a glossy furniture kick, I just have this attraction to these shiny lacquered looks and I just want to recreate them over and over again. Lucky for me, I found this awesome desk at a garage sale in my neighborhood and as soon as I saw the lines on it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

Glossy Painted Desk Before Image

The desk kind of reminded me of a piece of furniture I had pinned from Z Gallerie. I loved how it kind of had that Hollywood Regency look to it. I was drawn to these images and knew this desk could pull this look off!

Z Gallerie Dresser

Z Gallerie Styled Room

The desk had a super dark stain and had this terribly thick waxy sealant on it, so the sanding job was a nightmare, but I got through it. I had to get a circular sander, but it made the project move along much faster. 

After sanding, I used my spray gun (The Critter) and painted on a gorgeous bright white oil based paint from Rustoleum. It took what felt like millions, but was actually only 3 coats to make it look as glossy and smooth as I wanted. I used a 220 grit sanding block in between coats to make sure I got it as smooth as possible; the circular sander can be pretty rough on furniture and softer woods. I decided to use the old hardware because I thought it was still pretty cute, I just sprayed it with a brass spray paint and I like the end look. If you know anything about oil paint, it’s that it takes a reeeeeeally long time to dry! So this project took forever, but I am so happy with it, I think I may keep the desk to put in our guest bedroom.

Vintage Desk redone to a Glossy Hollywood Regency style

Vintage Desk Drawer Pull

Vintage Desk, Glossy Top

Vintage Desk

 

The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Revolution – What’s this about?

I don’t know about you, but I have been hearing raves and praises about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint quite frequently, so I was over the moon when a girlfriend of mine commissioned me for a “Shabby Chic Distressed Trunk.” From what I have heard, this chalk paint would be just the right way to create the exact look she was going for.

This paint is sold all over; the website has a list of locations. It is a bit pricey so expect to pay a little more than normal for paint, but when you consider all the time you save by not sanding, or prepping, or priming, you’re probably coming out even, or actually a little bit ahead! Yes, that’s right, no sanding…whoo hoo!!

Here’s what you need:

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White
  • Any paint brush of your choice. I used this one I already had on hand.
  • A color free, lint free cloth. You can buy some or use an old t-shirt (I like the t-shirts).
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax. She also makes a Dark Wax, which will give a completely different look.
  • Sandpaper for distressing (I used 80 grit, but that really depends on how much you want to distress)

Before Trunk

Step by Step:

  1. Wipe down piece and remove all hardware.
  2. Paint! The paint goes on super smooth and goes a long way. Annie Sloan recommends 1 1/2 coats, so you may see some brush strokes and bleed through on first coat. The paint takes about 15 or so minutes to dry, so I was able to move right into my second coat. 1st Coat
  3. Once the 2nd coat is dry – Wax with clear wax. The wax is wonderful, it’s like Crisco. I applied a small amount in a circular motion with one side of my t-shirt and then wiped it off in the same direction of brush strokes with the dry side of my t-shirt. Don’t go crazy with the wax, a little is all you need, Annie Sloan says to think about it like  putting lotion on, not too much and you want it to soak in.
  4. Distress, love this part. I waited for the wax to dry 24 hours before distressing. Then you just sand in places where natural distressing would happen and then anywhere you want for the look you are going for. Wipe off all dust afterwards.
  5. Last Step! Wax again! This is just to make sure that your piece remains protected for many moons. Let sit 24 hours before you start use of your piece. This is also where you would apply the Dark wax if you decided to use that one.

Voila! There you go. Check out this fun trunk. I definitely see more Annie Sloan paint projects in my future!

Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint Shabby Chic Trunk

 

 

Thrifting and Inspiration in New Orleans

You know, sometimes a little trip with new scenery is just what you need to get the creative juices flowing. Last week, my husband had a conference in New Orleans, LA and I tagged along to roam on my own and peruse all of the fine antiques and art New Orleans has to offer. Boy I soaked it up and it was a blast (I can be inspired by anything, food, art, good music – you name it). I’m home now ready to tackle all kinds of new projects, I just wish we had driven and I would have brought home like 1,000 pieces of furniture. Take a look at some of the gems I found and the places that I thought are worth visiting again and again and again…

I do a lot of research on Trip Advisor when I travel, I had read about this place and knew I needed to make a stop.

Greg's Aniques Sign

The people were so nice and chatted me up for a minute! The great thing is they actually deliver to surrounding states, it’s a little pricey, but in case you find something you can’t live without, it’s a great thing. I also saw these beauties here.

Vintage China Cabinet

Great Antique Hutch

and trunks galore all at reasonable prices.

Vintage Wooden Trunks Chests

Uuuuuh, I want it all. I loved that place and will certainly stop in next time I go.

I wandered through several shops in the French Quarter which were a pleasure, but much more expensive than what I would buy. I did see some beautiful things however, that I definitely want to keep in mind when I am reupholstering and looking for unique pieces. I just loved these chairs and this little dresser.

Nailhead Upholstered Chairs

Antique Small Dresser

I also fell in love with the streets and homes here. New Orleans is just “anything goes” when it comes to picking your home paint colors, and the French inspired architecture is just amazing!

New Orleans Colorful House

Gorgeous Stairs

If you head to New Orleans anytime soon, try to make a stop at the places below, they really are great little stores and the people are wonderful!

Greg’s Antiques for wonderful furniture at inexpensive prices.

Rare Finds for a little touch of your Grandparent’s attic – Talk with Deana, she’s a treat!

For sure stroll down Magazine Street, and stop into A.K.A Stella Gray, Ben was so nice and they have a super cool eclectic style going on in that store!

Any others that I’ve forgotten? Where are your must-go-tos in NOLA?

 

 

It’s a Cowgirl Y’all – Western Themed Baby Shower

I am so happy to say that I am super lucky to have another little niece on the way (I have 5 already and one simply adorable nephew). My sister and her husband are expecting their sweet little bundle in April and my Mom and I couldn’t have been more excited to throw them a baby shower. The theme was “It’s a Cowgirl Y’all” and that was a blast. My sister requested “no pink” so I went with a Turquoise and Red pallet and I love the way it turned out. I designed the invites using Photoshop and purchased a few fun images from Etsy to use on the invite as well.

Cowgirl Baby Shower Invite

Baby Shower Wreath

Western Baby Shower

We had a “Sassy Sangria” and some delicious sweet tea for refreshments. I used free online template for the water bottles and just designed them with Photo shop as well.  Super easy.

Water Bottle Label for Baby Shower

My sister isn’t really into the game thing, so we had some diapers that people could write funny messages on for Mama and Daddy to be for later, they were hilarious and everyone had a ton of fun with them.

Cupcakes and Diaper Game

Baby Shower Chalkboard

I had fun naming all of the food, I got a lot of the ideas from this party on Pinterest, and the names (and the snacks) were a hit!

Western Baby Shower Food Names

It's A Cowgirl Y'all Table Banner Baby Shower

Trail Mix Party Favors

I think everyone had a lot of fun and it was a super easy no-fuss kind of baby shower, perfect for my sister and brother-in-law and little Baby Franse!

Sister

Inspiration Station

I don’t know about you, but I love to stare at photos for inspiration (as I imagine we all do, right? That’s what Pinterest is all about…) But, sometimes when I get a new piece to start on, I just get overwhelmed with all of the options of amazingness that can happen with it. I have the hardest time committing to an idea, so what I like to do is look at pictures and get inspired by the things that make my heart sprinkle the most. I just found a perfect little sitting chair, and I have sooooo many ideas. I thought I’d look at some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen lately to get narrow down my project plan. I’m loving these, what do you think??

Fun Fabric Chair Upholstery

A fun chair from Third + Grace

Floral Fabric Upholstery Chair

No link to this beauty.

Big Geometric Textile Upholstery Fabric Chair

A great fun chair from Wild Chairy

WildChairy2

A sassy geometric print from Wild Chairy

Whoooo – I feel like I’m ready to start after looking at all of these gorgeous options. I’ll definitely share what my little chair turns out like asap! How do you get inspired?

 

Red Hot

Sooooo, it’s taken me a bit to get this beauty finished, but boy was it fun and I totally love how it turned out.

American of Martinsville 3 Drawer Chest Dresser

I tried my hand at oil painting furniture and I’m seriously hooked. I read tips from a few of the awesome bloggers I follow at Little Green Notebook and Natty By Design and mid-project decided I needed to get a spray gun, they are so so good. I chose this little guy and I’m super excited and want to spray like everything now. (Seriously, I was asking Mark if I could spray like every little non colored thing in our house this weekend).

American of Martinsville 3 Drawer Chest Dresser

Anywho – it’s finished. This was a thrift store find, and it actually was really pretty to begin with, it just needed some umph. I fell in love with the fun detail on the drawers and when I got it home, I found it it was an old American of Martinsville piece – score! I used my critter spray gun with Rust-oleum’s Gloss Sunrise Red and a little bit of Mineral Spirits to thin it out. It leveled beautifully. Because I kind of liked the look of some brush marks on the drawers, I painted those by hand with a brush and I like how they turned out too.

Drawer Detail and Pull

American of Martinsville engraved in 3 drawer chest dresser

Leveled Rust-oleum red sunrise gloss

I think it would make a gorgeous entry chest, or a fun statement piece for any room and lucky for us, it’s for sale in my store! So tell me – where would you put this red hot chest of drawers?

An Updated Fireplace

So, Mark and I purchased our house this past July. We have made the most of 2013 updating as much as we can with our crazy (seriously crazy) DIY skills. We call it DIYR – Do It Yourself RIGHT. That’s just what we do folks, we crack ourselves up. We’ve got a 1920′s craftsmen home and we have a pretty cool fireplace that does not work anymore. It’s too cool to just rip it out, so with a little inspiration from Pinterest and some winter catalogs, we came up with this.

Fireplace Before

Fireplace filled with wood logs

Fireplace filled with wood logs

I’m totally in love. It really makes the room feel cozy. The whole project only took us an afternoon. Mark and I went to a local lumber yard and got a few logs for $8! Yup, that made me pretty happy…and then he cut them into 8-10″ little logs using his trusty chainsaw – such a manly man. I sprayed them with a bleach and water mixture and once they dried I brought them in.

Fireplace Log Project Step by Step

Then I just played with the arrangement (it was sort of a fun little puzzle) until I liked the way it looked and Voila! An updated fireplace! What do you think? What kinds of fun do you have going on in your fireplace? I love pics…